LOS ANGELES, CA – Yesterday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced $48 million in grants to eight communities to fund innovative efforts to serve people living in encampments and support their pathway to stable housing. The Los Angeles County Continuum of Care will receive the largest of the awards – $14.96 million to serve 500 women and families living in Skid Row.
This crucial funding was secured to implement the Every Woman Housed plan, which Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda L. Solis and the Downtown Women’s Center launched last year. The Every Woman Housed plan is a roadmap to house all the women and families living on Skid Row. The initiative provides services, including health, mental health, and substance use support, access to non-congregate shelter, and permanent housing to women and their families in the Skid Row community.
In 2021, Supervisor Solis’ motion directed Los Angeles County’s Homeless Initiative to leverage resources to bring the Every Woman Housed plan to fruition. To that end, the County committed $4 million to support the plan coupled with an additional $30 million to support this and other Skid Row initiatives. The funding, in addition to other efforts, extended a Project Roomkey site near Skid Row, where 71 women reside. The County also launched women-focused outreach teams dedicated to Skid Row. Since the Every Woman Housed plan launched, the County and its partners have placed 134 women into permanent housing.
“I am so grateful to Governor Gavin Newsom for partnering with Los Angeles County to double down on our efforts to house our most vulnerable – unhoused women and their families,” said Supervisor Solis. “This is a critical step toward addressing the needs of women and families on Skid Row and will create safe, secure housing options to keep these residents off the street. I look forward to working with the Homeless Initiative and the Downtown Women’s Center to realize our goal of a Los Angeles without unhoused women. With Skid Row now entirely in my district, I will also continue to fight for more resources to help overcome what we see on the streets today.”
Between 2013 and 2022 the number of women experiencing homelessness grew from 12,449 to 22,294—an almost 80% increase in only 9 years. A lack of stable housing increases women’s vulnerability to violence, exacerbating the trauma many unhoused women have already experienced. According to the 2019 Women Needs Assessment, conducted by the Downtown Women’s Center, approximately 41.3% of women who are chronically homeless are most frequently on the streets. These women are more likely to have experienced sexual violence – 42.2% had been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes and 26.7% had experienced sexual assault in the last year. These figures bolster the need for the Every Woman Housed plan.
“This funding will be a lifesaver, providing outreach, interim and/or permanent housing to hundreds of women currently living in Skid Row, most of whom are Black and many of whom are survivors of domestic violence,” said Cheri Todoroff, Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative, which applied for the state grant in partnership with the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) and the City of Los Angeles. “Our goal is to provide these mothers, daughters, sisters, as well as gender non-binary, questioning, and transgender, people with trauma-informed care, which could include mental health and substance use disorder treatments, as well as a safe place to live, heal, and start anew,” Todoroff added.
“Coupled with the recently passed HELP Act (SB 914), the Encampment Resolution Grant is a historic opportunity to affirmatively address and end homelessness for more women than ever without the threat of re-traumatization or further marginalization in the Skid Row Community and beyond,” said Amy Turk, CEO of the Downtown Women’s Center.
To view Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement, click here.